Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announces that Wilfredo F. Diaz (d.o.b. 12/10/72) was found guilty today in Saratoga County Court of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender, in violation of New York State Corrections Law Section 168-t, a Class “E” felony. Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III presided over the 4 day trial, and Acting Saratoga County Court Judge Louise Sira was present today when the jury delivered its’ verdict. The Failing to Register as a Sex Offender charge was originally included in an Indictment handed up in September, 2016, charging him with numerous offenses arising from an August 16, 2016 sexual assault of a woman on Nelson Avenue in the City of Saratoga Springs.
Prior to the commencement of trial that concluded on February 10, 2017 regarding the August 16, 2016 incident, Judge Murphy granted defense council’s motion to sever the charge of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender from the rest of the charges, including Predatory Sexual Assault, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree. In his decision to sever the Failing to Register as a Sex Offender from the rest of the Counts in the Indictment, Judge Murphy determined that because the Defendant is a Level II Registered Sex Offender, and that information would be introduced during a trial for Failing to Register as a Sex Offender, the charge of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender would be tried separately, finding such information was too prejudicial for the trial jury to hear. Diaz has been required to register as a Level II Sex Offender since his 2002 Rape in the Second Degree conviction in Warren County.
On February 10, 2017 Defendant Diaz was found guilty in Saratoga County Court of two counts of Predatory Sexual Assault, in violation of Penal Law Section 130.95(3); one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, in violation of Penal Law Section 130.65(1) and One Count of Assault in the Second Degree, in violation of Penal Law Section 120.05(6). These charges carry a maximum sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison, with the possibility for consecutive sentences. He also faces a consecutive sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years for his conviction today of Failing to Register as a Sex Offender.
District Attorney Heggen praised the efforts of the Saratoga Springs Police Department who investigated Diaz’ failure to register with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services as a Level II Sex Offender following his arrest on August 16, 2016. The Saratoga Springs Police Department investigation included assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to uncover the fact that Diaz had also failed to register as a sex offender. He was subsequently charged for that felony.
DA Heggen noted that Diaz prior convictions reveals a history of repeatedly engaging in conduct deemed reprehensible. Heggen said, “Wilfredo Diaz failing to register is just one of many examples of this failure to comply with the laws of our state.”
Heggen praised the efforts of Assistant District Attorney Victoria Graf, who was assisted by Assistant District Attorney Michele Schettino. “Ms. Graf set forth a complete, logical, factual and detailed case for the jury. She called over 10 witnesses and introduced more than a dozen pieces of evidence to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that Diaz knew he was required to comply with the Sex Offender Registration Act and that he knowingly failed to do so last year as he worked at the Saratoga Thoroughbred Race Course.”
Judge Sira remanded the defendant to the Saratoga County Jail without bail. She scheduled sentencing for June 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm.